Its Michael Crichton book’s time at my house and all of his novels are lined up for a read. I knew when I picked up ‘Congo’ from the library, I am either going to hate it or love it. That’s how I felt about the other books from him. Reading Jurassic Park (Dinosaurs being my favourite creature…) was like being in heaven to me. I can’t exactly recall me sitting somewhere and reading the book (It’s a long time ago when I was doing my undergrad), but I still remember the feeling of having read a good book. The thrill, the excitement, staying late nights (battling sleep and tired eyes), thinking about what is going to happen next when I am doing something else – is what accounts a good book reading to me. You just know that feeling. The satisfaction after you have read the last words of the book, the feelings with which you close your eyes and the aha moment. I even remember rereading last page more than once (Sons Of Fortune….Delux Aha moment…) in more than one instance.
And then some time later, I picked up The Lost World and didn’t like the book (fyi…looooveeeeeeeee the movie. ). My expectations were real high and the book was just not enough. I was also in a little complicated time of my life (job/marriage/MBA…Whats next?). Nevertheless, I moved on. Blamed myself for not giving the book a good chance and then came Andromeda Strain. Yes you guys are going to kill me for saying this, but I didn’t like it. I just don’t like it when an author (like Michael Crichton) picks up a complex scenario and then ends it like nonsense (Those viruses, that freely spread in the air, just vanishing in thin air….huhhh…He can do better ). The same holds true for ‘Sphere’. I just don’t think a psychologically manipulating object is what is expected in the scenario of scientists trying to explore an underwater spaceship. (Now that I think back, it seems like I just wanted more from the book than what was offered. )
Well..we all try and try…dont we? I did too. Finally told myself, “You know, it can’t be that bad. You are just probably reading it upside down”. Realizing the possibility of me reading a book that way, I read Congo. And I have a different set of feeling about this book. As you might have already guessed, I didn’t like it..But neither hated it…its a mixed feeling actually. Firstly, love the background of the book; Reasearch the author had put into it and the claims that these are true make it even more interesting. A talking gorilla, ancient ruins of a village some where deep in Africa, cannibals, blue diamonds..ooh…Yummy…:). The plot is good, what happens in interesting, the way the book ends is good too, but the only thing that hurts is the way the story is told. According to me, such a story must not (extra bold and underline ) be told as a documentary. We see that these events might have happened for real, but that doesn’t mean that the author must include lots and lots of star marked side notes that say what happened in real, or in future or what the character has personally said later about that incident. That is just ruining reader’s imagination. That’s a big no for me. Here I am trying to read a book, imagining all those things happening, trying to keep up with the imagination and I read a side note about ‘What Peter has said about Amy’s feelings’ or ‘That John doe later survived the attack and is living happily’. Huh..If John Doe survived the attack, I want to read it in the book as a story being told, not as an fyi in documentary.
Well, I am just hoping that I picked up the wrong edition of the book. Probably the first prototype, the author has sent for review and was corrected later. A story like Congo needs to be done differently.
Like it or not…the Chrichton streak continues…Lets see whats ‘Next’.